Australia’s airports and seaports will be better protected from a broader range of threats, including cyber-attacks under legislation introduced to Parliament today.
Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said the Transport Security Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2022 (TSACI Bill) will continue to safeguard Australia’s vital aviation and maritime infrastructure from terrorism, and ensure this critical infrastructure is also protected from cyber-attacks and other acts of unlawful interference.
“The aviation and maritime transport sectors that support our economy and way of life are targets for criminals, terrorists and malicious foreign actors. This is why in times of emergency we must be prepared to protect our critical aviation and maritime sectors,” Minister Andrews said.
“The Morrison Government’s priority is, and will always be, to keep Australians safe and secure.
“Our already strong and comprehensive aviation and maritime security arrangements has been successful in protecting us against acts of terrorism, but we need to ensure they remain fit for purpose and able to respond to new and evolving threats.”
When declaring sectors as ‘critical’ the Minister for Home Affairs will consider the impact on Australian’s social and economic wellbeing and national security if these operators are disrupted for an extended period of time.
The TSACI Bill, which is part of the Morrison Government’s critical infrastructure reform package, will strengthen the security of these key sectors by:
- introducing an expanded ‘all hazards’ reporting framework that will require entities that the Minister for Home Affairs declares to be critical to consider and be resilient to the full range of risks that face including; natural disasters, cyber vulnerabilities, supply chain disruptions that could impact the ability to provide services to Australians and remain operational, in addition to the personnel and physical facility security already undertaken as part of the current framework.
- introducing a cyber security incident reporting framework, which will apply to all regulated entities.
- modernising the compliance framework, which will bring it in line with other Australian Government frameworks and ensure the Government can continue to work with Australia’s aviation and maritime transport sectors to keep infrastructure secure.
“The TSACI Bill has been developed in close consultation with aviation and maritime stakeholders whose continued support will harden the sectors against threats,” Minister Andrews said.
“As Australia’s aviation sector continues to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the maritime sector continues to play an important role in Australia’s economic prosperity, it is crucial that the laws that protect our transport infrastructure are fit-for-purpose and able to adapt to changing and evolving threats.”
The introduction of this legislation follows the introduction last week of the second phase of the Government’s critical infrastructure legislation, after the passage of the Government’s first phase of legislation in November last year.